The above teaching was based upon J.L. Spalding’s A Catechism of Christian Doctrine, © 1885, which was prepared and enjoined by the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore. In his introduction, O’Brien explains that the chief purpose in compiling his Advanced Catechism was “to supply a need felt in the higher grades of our Catholic schools.” He went on to explain that:
There can be no doubt that O’Brien’s Catechism, intended for use in Catholic schools, constitutes a teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. Those who demand more lofty sources are referred to The Dogmatic Constitution concerning the Catholic Faith, produced in the 3rd session of the First Vatican Council (April 24, 1870), where they might read:
The first-mentioned Mark of the Church is that it is One. O’Brien’s catechism explains why this is so, at least in Rome’s view:
I doubt any Christian would dispute this teaching, were it understood to be referring to the true Church and not the Roman Catholic cult. Let us examine the proof texts Father O’Brien offers. The full text of the first citation reads thusly in the KJV:
What is going on here? Christ is speaking to Jews, telling them that the new Church He is going to establish will not be made up solely of Jews but will also include Gentiles. He is telling some Pharisees who were with Him that some Gentiles would respond to His voice and would become part of the Church (cf. Romans 1:16; Ephesians 2:11-22). The fold He is talking of is the Church He established on Pentecost, not the fantasy church Rome likes to claim was established when Christ addressed Peter as “Pebble” or “Little Stone.” The one Shepherd is Christ, not Peter, not John XXIII, not Not Benedict XVI.
In an interesting happenstance, O’Brien misstates his source of the second citation from Scripture. The words he quotes are taken not from a single verse, but from two verses. A small thing, perhaps, but considering the high purpose stated for his catechism, it gives reason to question the accuracy of other teachings in that little book. In the Catholic Douay-Rheims Bible the passage in context reads:
That the true Church, the Body of Christ, is one is not to be denied. The Apostle Paul made that clear when he wrote:
The question is not whether the Church into which all true believers are welded is unified but, rather, whether the Roman Catholic Church is that church - is the Bride of Christ. Rome says that she is, but she cannot present indisputable evidence to support that claim. Instead, she points to a position built upon eisegesis of Matthew 16:19 or to the utterings of selected church fathers to support her self-defined status as the true Church. In other words, Rome is the one Church because Rome says she is. That is tantamount to me claiming to be the King of Romania because I say that I am.
I find it interesting that this catechism teaches that the Roman Catholic Church is made holy chiefly by means of her rituals, which are manmade and nowhere specified in the Scriptures. The reference to Commandments in the above selection likely refers to the Commandments (Precepts) of the Church and not to the Decalogue.
Is the Roman Catholic Church holy? According to its Magisterium it is. Of course, one would hardly expect Rome’s Teaching Authority to admit that it is anything other than holy. History points to many testimonials to the unholiness of RCC popes, bishops, priests and other religious. When these are recalled, the Catholic apologist likely will be quick to claim that the sins of her priests cannot be laid at the feet of the entity known as the Roman Catholic Church, which is protected from sin and error by the Holy Spirit. These same apologists cannot, however, prove this dichotomy of accountability from the same Scriptures they distort to “prove” their cult is the true Church.
Is the Roman Catholic Church truly something apart from its membership? On more than one occasion, the Extraordinary Magisterium has described the Church as a society. Leo XIII, for example, wrote:
For those who would argue that the above citation is a unique reference to the Roman Catholic Church as a human community, I offer a few more references:
Other councils and popes have gone to great lengths to establish, infallibly of course, that clergy are special and privileged members of this ecclesiastical society and that the pope is the most privileged of all. Yet, does it not seem logical that all the members of the human society Rome claims was established by Christ must in some way share in accountability for those things done in the name of that society? Should not the head of that society, elected by senior members of the privileged class within that society, be held accountable for his actions? Should not the members of the ruling class within that society be called to account for their misdeeds? Are not the common members of that society required to atone for their wrongful acts?
Think it through. If the society called the Roman Catholic Church, whether established by Christ as she teaches or not, is made up of human beings, then it stands to reason that when the human leadership not only does wrong but actually encourages or condones wrongdoing, then that society is something less than holy.
In sum, the Roman Catholic Church is a manmade and quite worldly religious body, the head of which is a pretender to a divine role nowhere mentioned in God’s holy Scriptures. The true Church, in contrast, is a spiritual body comprised of all true believers, established by Christ Himself, Who is its Head.
Christ’s Church, the true Church, indeed is catholic [lower case] in that it reaches out to all men wherever they may be found. However, the passages cited by O’Brien do nothing to support the fantasy that the Roman Catholic Church is the true Church, as a quick read of the passages will clearly demonstrate.
Is the Roman cult catholic? Of course it is, but not in the way it claims. In that the RCC is to be found just about anywhere one might wish to go, it is in that sense catholic [lower case], at least according to one dictionary’s definitions of that adjective.
Neither of those definitions supports the fantasy that the Roman cult is the one true church established by Christ. On the other hand, they certainly do support the reality that the RCC is spread across the globe and seeks to include all mankind within her soul-crushing embrace.
Don’t you have to wonder how the RCC can be apostolic by virtue of its priesthood, given that there is no account in Scriptures where one learns that the Apostles established a priesthood? How can the RCC consider itself apostolic when so many of its dogmas, such as the Immaculate Conception, transubstantiation, Christ as a cookie, etc., are nowhere to be found in the writings of the Apostles? It’s mission? What is the mission of the Roman Catholic Church? Regardless of what it may publicly declare, it would appear that the RCC’s true mission is to bring all the world into submission to its reigning monarch, the pope.
That passage cited by O’Brien does nothing to support the fantasy that the Roman cult is apostolic. Quite the contrary, in fact, for in as much as RCC doctrine, dogmas and practice often run counter to the holy Scriptures, many of which were penned by Apostles under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Let us look at the passage again, with a bit of context added:
In these words, the Apostle is explaining to the members of the church at Ephesus that the Kingdom of God is comprised of all people from all time who have trusted or will trust in Him. In the Kingdom, there are no strangers, foreigners, or second-class citizens. Redeemed sinners not only become heavenly citizens but actually become members of God’s own family. The Father bestows on the believers the same infinite love He gives His Son.
He is telling us that, important as were the Apostles and prophets, it was not them personally, but the divine revelation they taught as they authoritatively spoke the word of God to the church before the completion of the New Testament that provided the foundation.
Does the Roman Catholic Church live up to its claims concerning the marks? I don’t think so.
I entreat all those still caught up in the lies that issue from Rome to make an effort to validate the Magisterium’s teachings against the Scriptures. When you discover that something Rome requires you to assent to as a matter of faith, on pain of excommunication, runs contrary to God’s revealed Word, then I urge you to re-consider your allegiance to a false religious system and turn instead to God.
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